by CINDY KITZROW
Director, Library and Media Services
March is designated as National Reading Month. The libraries of Rockford Public Schools are pleased to announce the theme for our 11th annual read-a-thon: “Let the Reading Adventures Begin.” We will be investigating mysteries throughout the month. We are excited to have our very own Rockford author, Kenn Vidro, share his newest book Hey Diddle Riddles. Vidro is the art teacher for Lakes and Belmont elementary schools. He is scheduled to visit each elementary library and will take the students on a mysterious adventure. He will also be sharing his love of reading, writing and illustrating.
Each library has a month-long calendar of special activities. Some of the events are as follows:
- Mystery D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) Time – During D.E.A.R. time, everyone in the building stops what they are doing and reads for 10-15 minutes. No one knows when the principal will announce D.E.A.R., so the mystery time will just add to the adventure of reading.
- Family Mystery Night – at Roguewood. Each family will be given clues to solve a mystery. The library staff is working with the PTA on some exciting events for all ages.
- Mystery Time Machine – Valley View will have a time machine the students pass through as they enter the library. Each week the students will have a “Time-Traveling, Code-Cracking Adventure.”
- Mystery Minutes – Trivia mystery clues will be announced daily during the school announcements. The students will receive prizes as they solve these mysteries.
- Mystery Readers – Special guest readers will be visiting each library to read their favorite books.
We will continue to promote reading as the foundational skill of learning. Each March, as one of our goals, we want our students and parents reading together. Each student is given a reading log. They are asked to keep track of the time they read (or parents read to them) during the month on a form they can pick up in the library. Upon completion, the students receive a mystery decal to put in their window at home. The students from Pre-K through senior high are encouraged to read their favorite mystery books and authors. Each elementary principal challenges their students to read thousands of hours. In the past 10 years, our students have read over 230,000 hours during our read-a-thon month. Be sure to look around the Rockford community and count how many adventure readers you have in your neighborhood and be sure to “Let Your Reading Adventures Begin.”